Voting not the end

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 6, 2004

Staff report

Americans turned out in record numbers to cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, a gratifying development for anyone interested in the state of our republic. Citizen input is essential in order to hold elected officials accountable and to communicate their needs and desires.

While Tuesday’s turnout was certainly encouraging, it is hoped that our nation’s new-found interest in politics and governing extends beyond Tuesday.

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While it may not be nearly as glamorous, nor as highly publicized, as a presidential election, a series of meetings is about to take place in Suffolk, the results of which likely will impact every single man, woman and child in our city far more than anything that comes out of the presidential election.

The City of Suffolk has once again issued an invitation to the citizenry to participate in a series of &uot;visioning&uot; and planning workshops about growth and development.

The meetings are part of the review and update of

Suffolk’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

A similar series of meetings was held in the spring, citizen participation in which was dismal.

What these meetings are about is housing, probably the most crucial issue facing Suffolk. The price of a home in Suffolk is fast getting (or has already gotten) out of reach for many working people. Growth policies adopted by our city officials have a direct impact on that situation.

You made a difference on Tuesday. You can do it again.

Following is a list of the meetings:

nTuesday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m., Northern Shores Elementary School, 6701 Respass Beach Road;

nThursday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., John F. Kennedy Middle School, 2325 East Washington St.;

nTuesday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m., Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 631 Holland Road;

nAnd Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m., King’s Fork Middle School, 350 King’s Fork Road.

For more information, call the City of Suffolk at 923-3650. The plan can be viewed on line at plans